2010 Emmy Winners: See How Wrong I Was

When the Emmy nominations were announced back in July, I predicted that ‘Glee’ would sweep. Well, it looks like I severely misjudged the ability of Emmy voters to stay in touch with or comprehend such a pop culture phenomenon. The show was virtually shut out. I was pretty far off in some of my other predictions as well. Let’s take a look at what actually won after the break.

Winners are highlighted in bold.

Outstanding Comedy Series

’30 Rock’
‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’
‘Modern Family’
‘Nurse Jackie’
‘The Office’

I of course predicted ‘Glee’ here, and frankly it should have won. It had a hell of a year. Now, I love ‘Modern Family’ too and won’t begrudge it the win, but it’s a very traditional and, dare I say it, formulaic sit-com. ‘Glee’ is fresh and unlike anything else currently on TV.

Outstanding Drama Series

‘Breaking Bad’
‘The Good Wife’
‘Mad Men’
‘True Blood’

I was on the money with this one, though I can’t credit any particular insight into how I made my pick. I took at shot in the dark at a category with six very worthy nominees.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Kyle Chandler, ‘Friday Night Lights’
Bryan Cranston, ‘Breaking Bad’
Matthew Fox, ‘Lost’
Michael C. Hall, ‘Dexter’
Jon Hamm, ‘Mad Men’
Hugh Laurie, ‘House’

I predicted Hugh Laurie. Again, I had no great insight here. Any one of these nominees stood just as much a chance of winning as any other (except Kyle Chandler, who never gets the respect he deserves).

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Connie Britton, ‘Friday Night Lights’
Glenn Close, ‘Damages’
Mariska Hargitay, ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’
January Jones, ‘Mad Men’
Julianna Margulies, ‘The Good Wife’
Kyra Sedgwick, ‘The Closer’

I wasn’t even close here. I expected either Glenn Close or Mariska Hargitay to win, but hoped for Connie Britton or Julianna Marguilies. Sedgwick wasn’t even on my radar.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Alec Baldwin, ’30 Rock’
Steve Carell, ‘The Office’
Larry David, ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’
Matthew Morrison, ‘Glee’
Jim Parsons, ‘The Big Bang Theory’
Tony Shalhoub, ‘Monk’

I expected Alec Baldwin to take home an 82nd consecutive trophy for ’30 Rock’. Jim Parsons, really? Do people actually think his nerd stereotype routine is that funny?

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comeday Series

Toni Collette, ‘United States of Tara’
Edie Falco, ‘Nurse Jackie’
Tina Fey, ’30 Rock’
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, ‘The New Adventures of Old Christine’
Lea Michele, ‘Glee’
Amy Poehler, ‘Parks and Recreation’

I was way off base on this one too. I predicted Amy Poehler in ‘Parks and Rec’, with a possible dark horse spoiler from Lea Michele. I’ve only seen one episode of ‘Nurse Jackie’, so I’m not qualified to judge it. It seemed OK.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Andre Braugher, ‘Men of a Certain Age’
Michael Emerson, ‘Lost’
Terry O’Quinn, ‘Lost’
Aaron Paul, ‘Breaking Bad’
Martin Short, ‘Damages’
John Slattery, ‘Mad Men’

Michael Emerson won last year, so I should have figured that he wouldn’t be rewarded twice in a row, but he totally deserves as much acclaim as he can get.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Christine Baranski, ‘The Good Wife’
Rose Byrne, ‘Damages’
Sharon Gless, ‘Burn Notice’
Christina Hendricks, ‘Mad Men’
Elisabeth Moss, ‘Mad Men’
Archie Panjabi, ‘The Good Wife’

Mrs. Z is chiding me today. She nailed the pick for Archie Panjabi, while I expected that her ‘Good Wife’ co-star Christine Baranski would win based on name recognition.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Ty Burrell, ‘Modern Family’
Chris Colfer, ‘Glee’
Jon Cryer, ‘Two And A Half Men’
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, ‘Modern Family’
Neil Patrick Harris, ‘How I Met Your Mother’
Eric Stonestreet, ‘Modern Family’

I hit the mark on this one. Eric Stonestreet is a breakout star on ‘Modern Family’, though I have to admit that Ty Burrell would have also been a deserving choice as well.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Julie Bowen, ‘Modern Family’
Jane Krakowski, ’30 Rock’
Jane Lynch, ‘Glee’
Holland Taylor, ‘Two and A Half Men’
Sofia Vergara, ‘Modern Family’
Kristen Wiig, ‘Saturday Night Live’

This was the only major award for ‘Glee’, but could it have possibly gone any other way? Jane Lynch is awesome. Enough said.

For the rest of the winners, check the rundown on IMDb.


  1. I’m happy for Modern Family. You’re not wrong about the formulaic nature, but doing a traditional sitcom that’s still funny should be commended.

    I agree that Ty Burell could have gotten the actor win too – I love that guy.

    As far as Jim Parsons. I don’t know which of the stereotypical nerds he is on the absolutely dreadful show he’s on, but this should have gone to anyone else.

    • Alex

      I’m going to take very serious exception to the points made so far regarding “The Big Bang Theory”. In my mind, the purpose of a comedy is, first and foremost, to make you laugh. “Modern Family”, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, “30 Rock”, “The Office”, along with most current comedies on television are pretentious. They are obsessed with proving to the audience how clever they are. They’re good for a grin, a smirk, a smile, even a chuckle, but not for a good belly-laugh. To me, they come across as talking down to their audience, and I find that offensive rather than funny. “The Big Bang Theory”, on the other hand, has me rolling on the floor with laughter during almost every episode. Its characters are stereotypes, yes (I won’t mention that so are the characters on “Modern Family” and “The Office”. Whoops, I just did!), but they have a warmth to them. Jim Parsons’ character, Sheldon, is annoying, frustrating, obnoxious, and yet vulnerable, sympathetic, endearing, and funny. To be able to elicit all of those emotions simultaneously from the audience is the hallmark of a great performance. I’m thrilled that Jim Parsons won, and very disappointed that “The Big Bang Theory” wasn’t nominated for more awards.

      • Sorry you’re not happy about it, but I absolutely hate that show. Every episode I’ve watched (two) is full of this awful pandering pseudo-geek humor that just plain upsets me.

        Comedy is subjective, of course. You’re entitled to your opinion as I’m entitled to mine – and mine is that that “The Big Bang Theory” just isn’t funny.

        And as Tim pointed out below, the show’s got a laugh track. I’ll decide when to laugh, thank you very much! I think it’d be interesting to see an episode without it though, and see if it changes the dynamic for the better.

        • Alex

          If my comments came across as a personal attack, I do apologize. They certainly weren’t intended. You are absolutely right about the subjective nature of comedy.

          As to the laugh track issue, I’ve never found them to be all that distracting. I see your point that it seems, at times, like you’re being told when to laugh, however, I tend to look at it a different way. Programs filmed with a multi-camera setup (like “The Big Bang Theory” among countless others) are meant to be essentially televised plays, performed in front of an audience. While I certainly don’t think that the laugh track should be artificially, or arbitrarily added afterward, hearing the laughter of the audience adds to the “community” feel, making the television program seem more like a stage performance. “Spamalot” on stage is, in part, uproariously funny because you are sharing it with the strangers around you. A good comedic film is the same way. I believe that a laugh track, when included naturally and tastefully to a television program, can actually enhance the experience.

          But again, as you said, it’s purely subjective.

          • I understand your point completely. That’s why I love watching comedies in packed theaters on opening night. It’s just so much more fun when you’ve got a group of people laughing along with you.

            Laugh tracks, or even shows in front of a live audience, just don’t work for me though.

            I think the prime example for me is ‘Sports Night,’ which I disliked initially. I checked it out again at the urging of a friend when the second season came along and I loved it. The writing and acting were essentially the same, but there was one major difference. The second season ditched the laugh track.

            I can’t exactly penalize shows like the sitcoms of old or sketch comedy shows like ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’ for including them, but I do feel like the laugh track is something that should be abandoned.

          • “Laugh tracks, or even shows in front of a live audience, just don’t work for me though.”

            I should specify sitcoms here – shows where we’re supposed to believe that there is no audience. ‘The Daily Show’ and the various late night shows are of course an exception.

          • EM

            Cinema is often viewed as better (more legitimate, more prestigious, whatever) than television. It’s not intrinsically any better, and it’s not hard to find television shows that are pretty darn good and theatrical movies which aren’t. Still, the generalization remains. Perhaps it’s telling that laugh tracks are a traditional staple of television and are unheard-of in cinema. If I watch “Spamalot”’s filmic antecedent “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” with other people, I will probably hear them laugh; but on occasions when I watch it alone, I’m still capable of finding it funny without others’ live or canned reactions.

          • Josh Zyber

            Dick, I bet you don’t hate that Sports Night laugh track nearly as much as Aaron Sorkin does. He fought the network tooth and nail over it, but they wouldn’t let him air the show without one during the first season. You’ll notice that as the season goes on, its usage is toned down and becomes more sporadic.

            The network didn’t give in and let him drop it entirely until the second season, unfortunately.

  2. i was glad to see kyra sedgwick win. it’s a good show overlooked by people cause it’s a crime show but it gives the characters on the show room to grow. they all deserved to win. it’s not like they went up against the real housewives on name a state or the jersey shore.or kardashians.

  3. Tim

    Two words sum up why Modern Family is way ahead of The Big Bang Theory: Laugh track.

    In regards to Glee not winning, I think that it’s a show that’s difficult to compartmentalize. There’s singing, there’s comedy, and a surprising amount of moving drama. All Don Draper does is drama.

  4. that1guypictures

    I actually like Big Bang Theory, and How I met your mother. Mother has a terribly phony laugh track, which is the only thing aboutthe show I dislike. BBT is filmed in front of a live audience, and sometimes uses a laugh track on top of the audience reaction (the same as friends and Seinfeld). I think BBT is a nice way to pass the time and it does make me laugh, but it isn’t nearly as great as Modern Family, Parks and Recreation, Community or 30 Rock. The Office is nothing but a pale imitation of it’s early years. Mad Men is truly amazing TV, and deserving of the awards it continuously receives!

    • I’m not looking forward to the new season of ‘The Office,’ but it falls right in line with the three other NBC shows that are actually still good.

      It’s Carell’s last season as Michael though, which could end up being just the change the show needs. I heard a rumor that Danny McBride may be called in as a replacement, which would be amazing.

  5. mh

    Ryan Murphy won the Outstanding Directing in Comedy Emmy for GLEE. I certainly think that qualifies as a major Emmy win for GLEE.

    • Josh Zyber

      I don’t know. The directing awards are not generally considered major Emmys. TV is primarily a producer’s medium, not a director’s. Every episode of a show has a different director.

      • mh

        I disagree. I think all of the awards that are passed out on the main broadcast are considered major awards. They have the craft and service Emmy ceremony where hairstyling, makeup, film editing, and the like are awarded. GLEE won a sound editing award there (and Neil Patrick Harris’ guest star turn as well).

  6. “Jim Parsons, really? Do people actually think his nerd stereotype routine is that funny?”

    I won’t make any big claims for The Big Bang Thoeory, Josh, though I think it’s well above average for your traditional three camera, laugh-track ridden sitcom (and it’s way better than How I Met Your Mother), but Parsons’ character is great in both writing and performance.

    I mean, a sitcom character with no interest in sex? He’s a unique achievement on that count alone.